Lost list latest blunder in Greece's war on tax dodgers

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Lost list latest blunder in Greece's war on tax dodgers

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You do not need to be a god to wonder how Greece is going to get out of trouble if the Financial and Economic Crimes Unit can lose a list of 2000 alleged Swiss bank account holders.

The parliament has ordered a full inquiry into how the list slipped through their fingers. It was supplied two years ago by the-then French finance minister Christine Lagarde who, as IMF boss today, is one of Greece’s lead creditors.

Add to that a second list that has emerged naming 30 fprmer and present politicans it is alleged took bribes and dodged taxes, and it is clear corruption is a many-headed hydra that will need a lot of killing.

It goes deep into Greek society. In fact, everyone’s at it.

“We have reached a level which is not supportable for any civil society like our own, and we see that in a lot of areas, we see that in what we call the petty corruption which is the ‘fakelaki,’ which is not going down,” claims the Greek president of lobbyists Transparency International Konstantinos Bakouris.

“Fakelaki”, or little brown envelopes, change hands at every level of society, from tax and planning inspectors to doctors and businessmen.

“The elimination of such parameters is the basis for a new step, because if we stay in this situation, there is no way out,” says New Democracy member of the European parliament Marieta Giannakou.

More than 23 billion euros in tax escapes Greece every year. For example, 20% of Greek petrol is thought to sell on the black market. And now illegal gold buyers are cashing in on people selling the family jewels and smuggling the metal out of the country.